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As KCPD reviews officer conduct, Chief Stacey Graves asks community to 'pause'

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A woman wearing a police uniform gestures with her right hand while talking at a microphone inside a radio studio.
Carlos Moreno
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KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves talks on KCUR's Up To Date on Aug. 25, 2023.

Community members are outraged over a cellphone video that captured off-duty KCPD officers pushing a handcuffed Black woman face-first into the ground and calling her an “animal." Speaking on KCUR's Up To Date, Police Chief Stacey Graves said the incident is being reviewed internally and by outside law enforcement.

Community activists have expressed concern following bystander video that shows off-duty Kansas City Police officers pushing down a handcuffed, Black woman in Kansas City's Power & Light District, and calling her an "animal."

"I think people need to first pause and allow us and our partners to review this incident in its entirety," KCPD Chief Stacey Graves told KCUR's Up To Date.

The incident involving 25-year-old Daysheion R. Ponds and multiple off-duty KCPD officers began at Pizza Bar on Jan. 28, the night of the AFC Championship game.

Graves says the department plans to review footage taken from Power & Light businesses. But she added it's also standard procedure to share the video with the county prosecutor and the FBI under an agreement made in 2015.

“Any time a video such as this, where excessive force is alleged, this is something we provide our partners that gives an outside look to it," Graves said. "But we still do review that internally.”

Graves said anytime an event like this surfaces, it hinders efforts to mend trust and relations between community members and the police.

She said the department needs community support to reduce violent crime in the city.

Appointed as police chief in Dec. 2022, Graves' first year ended with Kansas City setting a record-high homicide rate.

"I'm gonna tell you, when you look at those homicide numbers, you'll see there was 182 people killed in Kansas City by violence," Graves said. "If anyone listening to this thinks that they shouldn't be concerned if you're a resident of Kansas City, just because it's not happening in your neighborhood, you should be concerned."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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